Note:

About the title ~ It doesn't mean that Abby has never been to Eric and Annie's house before. It just means that it's her first night for this particular visit.

Chapter 4 ~ Abby's First Night

It was later in the afternoon on Wednesday, so Annie had been back from the store for awhile. Eric was still in his office doing some church business and Annie just finished putting the first pizza in the oven, when she decided to go outside for a few minutes to watch her children play in the back yard. Simon was playing quietly in his sandbox and Matt, Mary and Lucy were playing tag. Annie walked out and started to watch them play, when Lucy ran up to her. "Mommy, we're playing tag! Do you want to play with us?"

"No thanks, Sweetie. I just put the first pizza in the oven and Abby, Grandpa and Grandma should be here any minute. Just make sure all of you stay in the yard and don't go near the road." Annie replied as she hugged Lucy.

"Okay." Lucy said.

"Come on, you're supposed to be chasing us!" Mary yelled as she ran over to Lucy.

Before Lucy could answer, they heard something that sounded like a car coming and slowing down, so they ran out to the front yard to see who it was.

"I think they're here." Mary said.

Annie looked to see who was pulling in the driveway and then smiled. "It's them! They're here!"

In the car, Abby saw Annie in the yard and smiled. "Auntie Annie!" As soon as the car was parked, she got out and ran over to Annie.

"Hi, Sweetheart!" Annie smiled as she picked Abby up and gave her a BIG hug.

Abby hugged Annie back. "I missed you so much, Auntie Annie."

Annie kissed Abby on the head. "I missed you too, Sweet Baby."

Almost a minute later, Charles, Jenny, Matt, Mary, Lucy and Simon walked over to Annie and Abby.

"Didn't you just see Abby a few months ago, when you drove to her house and baby sat her?" Matt asked.

"Yes I did, Honey, but that was awhile ago." Annie replied.

Abby nodded. "A really long time!"

"Oh." was all Matt could reply.

Annie smiled. "Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! It's so great to see you."

Jenny smiled back at her daughter. "It's great to see you, too, Annie."

Charles nodded in agreement. "Hi, Annie. It's great to see you, too."

"I thought I heard someone pull in the driveway." Eric said as he came up behind everyone from the house. "Hi, Abby. You must have really missed your Auntie Annie."

Mary nodded. "Yeah, she's been smiling ever since she got out of the car."

"Yeah, that was a really long time for me to not see my Angel." Abby said as she gave Annie another hug.

Jenny looked at her daughter. "You're all she talked about in the car on the way over here."

Charles nodded in agreement. "Hey there, Eric. How have you been?"

Eric smiled. "Hi, I've been good. How about yourself?"

Charles shrugged. "Well, I can't complain."

Jenny walked over to Eric and gave him a hug. "Hi Eric."

"Hi Jenny." Eric replied.

"I guess we should take your bags in the house and then check on the pizza to make sure it doesn't burn." Annie told Abby as she walked over to the car.

Abby smiled. "Okay. I don't like burnt pizza."

Annie smiled and gave Abby one more hug before putting her back down. "I know, Honey."

"Okay." Abby said as she started to pick up more bags than she could handle.

"Here, Sweetie, before you get hurt, I'll help you carry some of these bags." Annie said taking another bag from the car.

Abby tripped and fell as she started to walk back to the house with Annie, but luckily she landed on the bag that had her pillow in it, so she wasn't hurt.

Annie gasped a little. "Oh, are you okay, Baby Girl?"

Abby smiled. "Yeah. I fell on my pillow."

"Okay." Annie said as she helped Abby stand up again. She picked up the heaviest bag along with the one she was carrying before, while Abby took the ones with her pillow, blanket and pajamas. They carried the bags in the house and put them back down on the floor by the stairs. Simon, who was right behind them, noticed the Nintendo games in one of the bags and started to go through it.

"Simon, Honey, please stay out of Abby's bags." Annie said as she put one of the games back in the bag.

Abby smiled. "That's my fun bag! That's where I have all my games and other fun stuff I brought for us to do."

"What is that?" Simon asked, pointing to the game.

"That's Abby's Nintendo game, Honey. She plays it on the TV, but we can't get it out right now, because it's almost time for dinner." Annie replied.

"Grandpa and Grandma are coming in!" Abby announced as Eric walked through the door with Charles, Jenny, Matt, Mary and Lucy following behind him.

Annie walked over to Charles and Jenny and gave them each a hug. "I'm so glad you can spend a week here, with us. Matt, Mary, Lucy and Simon were talking, a couple days ago, how they can't wait to see you and spend a lot of time with you."

"I am glad to see them, too. I have missed my grandchildren so much. Abby is our little angel, but so are Matt, Mary, Lucy and Simon." Jenny replied.

"I'm just going to help Abby take her bags upstairs and then we'll be right down. The pizza will be ready, soon." Annie said as she and Abby picked up the same bags they carried in from outside.

"Okay." Charles and Jenny both replied as they followed Matt, Mary and Lucy into the kitchen.

"Simon, have you been playing in your sandbox?" Eric asked.

"Yes." Simon replied.

"Let's go upstairs and get you cleaned up before dinner." Eric told Simon as he took his hand and led him upstairs. Simon started to run ahead to the bathroom and was about to open the door when Eric led him away to the room he was sharing with Matt. "We have to pick out your clean clothes, first."

Charles, Jenny, Matt, Mary and Lucy were all sitting down at the kitchen table while they waited for Annie, Abby, Eric and Simon to come back downstairs. "Grandpa, Grandma, let's play outside until the pizza is done." Lucy suggested.

"Okay, but let's wait until your Mom comes back so she will know where we are." Jenny replied.

Back upstairs, Abby picked up the rest of her bags from the hallway. "Auntie Annie, where am I sleeping?" She asked.

"I'll be sharing this room with you, while Grandpa and Grandma are here. They will sleep in mine and Uncle Eric's room and Uncle Eric will share a room with Matt and Simon." Annie replied.

Abby smiled as she took her Care Bears pillow out of the bag and put it on the bed. "I get to sleep in the same room, as you? We can have a slumber party!"

Annie smiled back. "Yes Honey, we can have a slumber party, but we can't stay up too late and we have to stay quiet so we don't keep your cousins awake because they still have school, okay?"

"Okay." Abby said as she took her art project out of a bag, and smiled. "Look, what I made for you at school!"

"That's very pretty! Thank you, Sweetheart!" Annie smiled as she hugged Abby and then kissed her on the head. "I'll put it in my room a little later, but for now, let's go downstairs and check on the pizza. After dinner, we'll get your air mattress and everything set up for you, okay?"

"Okay." Abby replied. "When we come back in here, I have some new stuff to show you."

Annie smiled. "Okay."

"I'm getting hungry. I can't wait to eat your pizza. It's my favorite, kind!" Abby said.

Annie smiled. "I know, it is ~ thank you, Sweet Baby."

Annie and Abby left the room and went downstairs to the kitchen where they saw Charles, Jenny, Matt, Mary and Lucy sitting at the table and talking.

Abby smiled as they were getting closer to the kitchen. "Your pizza smells good, Auntie Annie!"

"Yes, it does, Sweetheart." Annie agreed.

"Where are Dad and Simon?" Mary asked when she saw Annie and Abby coming down the stairs.

"Your Dad is giving Simon a bath, Honey. Simon was playing in his sandbox earlier, and Dad wanted to get him into clean clothes and everything before dinner. They will probably, be down soon." Annie replied.

"Oh. Okay." Mary said.

"The first pizza is done, if anyone wants to grab a napkin and paper plate." Annie told everyone as she took the pizza out of the oven. "I bought some A and W Rootbeer and Seven Up if anyone wants to have some with their pizza. We can all eat outside on the picnic tables if you want."

"Okay!" Lucy replied.

"Which pizza is it?" Matt asked.

"It's the one with half pepperoni and half sausage. The one I just put in the oven is half ham, half mushrooms. The last one will be half ham, half sausage." Annie replied as she put the next pizza in the oven.

"Auntie Annie, can I please have some Rootbeer?" Abby asked.

Annie smiled. "Yes, you can, Baby."

"I want pepperoni!" Mary said.

Matt nodded. "Me too!"

Lucy Laughed. "I want sausage."

Charles smiled. "I think I'll have sausage, too."

"I'll wait for the one with ham." Jenny said.

"Okay." Annie said as she poured some Rootbeer in Abby's favorite Care Bears cup. "What does everyone want to drink?"

Abby smiled as Annie handed her the cup of Rootbeer. "Thank you, Auntie Annie."

Annie kissed Abby on the head, before taking three more cups out of the cupboard.

Matt watched as Annie set the cups on the counter. "I want Rootbeer!"

"Me too!" Mary agreed.

Lucy laughed. "Me Three!"

Abby looked at Lucy and started to giggle. "You're, funny!"

After Matt, Mary and Lucy had their pizza and Rootbeer, they were ready to go outside. "Are you going to come outside with us?" Lucy asked her Grandpa and Grandma.

"You go ahead and we'll be right out as soon as the next pizza is done." Jenny replied.

"Actually, I think I'll go out with them, now." Charles said as he grabbed his plate and stood up.

"Okay!" Lucy smiled as she followed Matt and Mary to the door.

"Please eat at the picnic table, and stay with Grandpa or come in the house if you finish before the rest of us come out. I don't want anyone playing near the road." Annie told them before they could open the door.

"Okay." Matt replied as he walked out the door, with Mary, Lucy and Charles following him.

"The first pizza is done!" Abby announced as she watched Eric and Simon walk in the kitchen from the stairs. "Do you want some?"

"Which one is it?" Eric asked as he walked over to the Island where Abby was sitting.

"Half of it is pepperoni, and the other half is sausage, Honey." Annie told Eric as she cut some pizza for Simon.

Abby smiled and pointed to Annie. "Our pizza is next! My half is the one with mushrooms!"

"I'll have sausage." Eric said as he took a paper plate and napkin from the counter.

"Okay." Annie said as she poured some Rootbeer in a cup for Simon. "The children are outside eating at the picnic table with Dad, if you and Simon want to join them. I'll be out with Abby and Mom as soon as the next pizza is done."

"Okay." Eric replied as he poured himself some 7~Up. "I'll have to come back in for my pizza and Seven Up since I'll be carrying Simon's for him."

Annie smiled as she took Simon's plate and cup. "I'll carry Simon's pizza and Rootbeer for you."

"I want to come, too!" Abby announced as she started to get up.

"Oh, I'll be right back, Sweetie, I'm just taking this out for Simon so he doesn't spill anything." Annie told Abby as she followed Eric and Simon out the door.

"Okay." Abby replied as she walked over to the table where Grandma Jenny was sitting.

Outside, Charles, Matt, Mary, and Lucy were eating their pizza and talking. "Abby looks like Mommy, only shorter." Lucy said.

"Yeah, they do look a lot alike." Matt said, before taking another bite of his pizza.

"Yeah." Mary agreed.

Everyone stopped talking and continued eating their pizza, when Simon came running out the door, with Eric and Annie following behind him. "Here's your pizza and Rootbeer, Honey." Annie said as she set Simon's plate and cup on the table.

"I can help Simon, now, if you want to go back in the house with Abby and your Mom." Eric told Annie, as he set his food and drink on the picnic table.

"Okay." Annie replied as she started to walk back in the house. "We'll be out, soon."

"Okay." Eric said as he sat down next to Simon and started eating.

After the second pizza was done, Annie took it out of the oven and started cutting it into slices. "Can I please, have a big piece and sit by you when we eat our pizza?" Abby asked.

"Yes, you can Sweetheart." Annie replied.

Abby smiled. "Thank You, Auntie Annie!"

As soon as everyone had their pizza and drinks, they left the kitchen to join Eric, Charles and the children. "Another pizza is done and another one is in the oven if you want more!" Abby announced as she skipped over to the picnic table with Annie and Jenny behind her.

"Here's your food, Sweetie." Annie said as she set Abby's plate and cup on the picnic table.

"What are we having for desert?" Lucy asked.

"Peanut Butter Pie." Annie replied as she sat down next to Jenny.

"I was in the kitchen yesterday, when Mom was making it." Matt told everyone.

After a few more minutes of eating, Abby was still hungry. "Can I please, have some more pizza?" she asked.

Mary was surprised. "She ate that, already? She hasn't been out here, that long!"

Annie kissed Abby on the head. "Yes, you can, Sweetheart. I'll go check on the pizza, and bring out what's left of the other two."

"I was just going in the house for something, anyway, I can check on the pizza and get the other ones." Eric offered as Abby started to get down from Annie's lap.

"Okay, thanks, Honey." Annie replied.

"Thank you, Uncle Eric." Abby said as she sat back down again.

"Mom, can we go play until the desert is ready?" Mary asked.

"As long as you stay in the back yard, where we can see you." Annie replied.

"Okay." Mary and Lucy ran off to play.

"Auntie Annie, when we're done eating, will you please push me on the swings?" Abby asked.

"Yes, I will, Sweetie, but only for a little while. We still have to get your things unpacked and everything, okay?" Annie replied.

Abby smiled and gave Annie a hug. "Okay."

"Who, wants more pizza?" Eric asked as he came out of the house carrying the pizzas.

Abby smiled. "I do!"

"I'll have another piece, too, Honey." Annie said.

After everyone finished their pizza and desert, and the kitchen was cleaned up, Annie went upstairs to help Abby unpack some of her clothes, when she noticed she didn't have anything to wear to church. "Did you bring any dresses or skirts, Honey?"

"I don't know. I think my Mommy has them." Abby replied.

"Oh." Annie said as she was trying to think of how she could get something for Abby to wear on Sunday.

"Auntie Annie, I'm getting tired. I want to lay down in my bed. Can I please, have my pajamas in case I fall asleep?" Abby said as she rolled up in the blanket on her air mattress bed.

Annie took some pajamas out of Abby's bag. "Here, Sweetie. I think we're almost done and then I have to go make sure your cousins are ready for bed, since they have school tomorrow."

"Okay. Then will you, please, come back in here with me?" Abby asked.

Annie kissed Abby on the head. "Yes, I will, Sweet Baby."

Abby smiled. "Okay."

A few minutes later, Annie was almost finished helping Abby when they heard a knock on the door. "Hold on a minute, Abby doesn't have her pajamas all the way on yet."

"Okay." Eric replied from behind the door. "I'll let our children know it's time to start getting ready for bed, now, since it's almost nine~o~clock."

"Okay, Honey." Annie answered. "I'm just helping Abby with a few things and then I'll be right out."

"Okay." Eric said as he walked away from the door.

Abby smiled. "This air mattress, is my favorite bed. I always sleep like a baby. You can sleep on here, too, if you want. It looks like there is enough room."

Annie smiled back as she gave Abby another hug. "Okay, Sweetie, I will. I just have to go help your cousins get ready for bed, and then I'll be back, okay?"

"Okay." Abby replied as she rolled up in the blanket again.

Annie left the room and was about to check on Mary and Lucy, when she saw Eric in hallway. "Oh, Eric ~ I wanted to ask you something. Abby doesn't have any dresses or skirts with her ~ would you mind if I take some of our money and take her shopping tomorrow to buy her a few sun dresses for church?"

"No, that would be okay." Eric replied as Charles and Jenny walked over and joined the conversation.

Annie smiled. "Okay. We'll probably eat out, somewhere and then see a movie or something, too. If you want, I was thinking we could meet you, Mom, Dad, Lucy and Simon somewhere for lunch and then we should be done eating in time, so you can pick Matt and Mary up from school."

"Okay. Lucy gets out of Kindergarten, at Eleven~Forty~Five, so I'll pick her up and then we'll meet you, Abby, Simon and your Mom and Dad ~ where should we meet?" Eric asked.

"I was thinking we could take the children to McDonalds. I know Abby likes their chicken nuggets and Happy Meals." Annie replied.

Jenny smiled. "Sounds good to me."

"Me, too." Charles agreed.

"Okay." Eric said.

Charles turned to Annie. "I can watch Simon, tomorrow, while you and Abby are shopping." He looked over at Eric "And while you're doing church business."

"Yeah, I can help watch him, too." Jenny told Annie. "We can help watch all of them any time, if you and Eric want to do other things during the day. That would also give us more time to spend with them, since they don't see us as much as Abby does."

"Okay. Just remember that the older ones have school, but then Memorial Day is coming up, so by this Friday afternoon, they won't have to go back to school until Tuesday. I also think Friday is an early release, but I'll have to check to make sure." Eric told Charles and Jenny.

"Yeah, it is, Honey ~ they get out at One~fifteen." Annie said.

"Okay." Jenny said.

"Okay." Charles added.

"Well, I'm going in to check on Mary and Lucy and make sure they're ready for bed and then I'll check on Matt and Simon." Annie said as she hugged her Mom and Dad. "Goodnight, everyone."

"Goodnight, Annie." Jenny replied with a smile.

"Goodnight." Charles said with a wink.

"Matt is almost done getting ready for bed, and I helped Simon, so he should be ready, too." Eric said as he turned to go back into the room he was sharing with Matt and Simon.

"Okay." Annie replied. "I'll be in their room to tell them Goodnight, after I check on Mary and Lucy."

"Okay." Eric said as he walked away.

Annie left the hallway and walked into Mary and Lucy's room, to find them in their pajamas, and coloring pictures. "It's time for bed, girls."

Lucy started to put her things away. "That's what Daddy told us, so I got my pajamas on, and Mary, got hers on, too."

"Did you, brush your teeth?" Annie asked.

"Yes." Mary replied as she hopped into bed.

Lucy smiled. "Yeah."

Annie gave Lucy a hug and whispered "Goodnight, Sweetie."

"Goodnight, Mommy." Lucy whispered back with a smile.

Annie turned and hugged Mary "Goodnight, Honey" she whispered.

"Goodnight" Mary replied.

Annie turned their light off and left the room to go check on Matt and Simon. "Goodnight." She said as she hugged Simon and then Matt.

"Goodnight, Mommy." Simon replied.

"Goodnight, Mom." Matt said as he started to walk back over to his bed.

After everyone was in bed, Annie changed into her pajamas, brushed her teeth and then went back to the bedroom that she was sharing with Abby. She saw that Abby looked like she was sleeping, so she kissed her on the head before turning off the light.

Abby was still half~awake. "Goodnight, Auntie Annie. I love you."

"Goodnight, Baby Girl." Annie replied. "Did you brush your teeth?"

Abby started to crawl out of bed. "No, I think I fell asleep."

"Oh." Annie said as she got up and followed Abby into the bathroom. She picked up the stool by the sink for Abby to stand on. "Here, Sweetie, you can stand on this to brush your teeth."

"Okay." Abby replied as she put sparkly toothpaste for kids on her Care Bears toothbrush.

"Tomorrow, I'm going to take you shopping and buy you a few sun dresses to wear to church, after that, we'll meet, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Eric and your cousins, Lucy and Simon for lunch at McDonalds and then I'll take you to see a movie." Annie explained while Abby brushed her teeth.

Abby smiled. "Okay!"

"Shh...." Annie whispered. "Everyone is in bed, now, so we have to stay quiet so they can get to sleep, okay, Honey?"

"Okay." Abby whispered back.

After Abby finished brushing her teeth, they went back in the bedroom and turned out the light.

"Goodnight, Auntie Annie. I love you." Abby said as she hugged Annie.

Annie hugged Abby. "Goodnight and I love you, too, Sweet Baby." She tucked in the sheets and blankets around Abby and then kissed her on the head. A few minutes later, they both fell asleep until about 1 AM, when Annie woke up to a noise that sounded like someone was moving around. She looked over and saw Abby kicking the blankets. Abby sat up quickly, out of breath.

"What's wrong, Baby?" Annie whispered.

"I'm cold, I'm thirsty and I had a bad dream." Abby replied in a tired voice.

Annie put her arm around Abby and then kissed her on the head. "Do you want some warmer pajamas, or an extra blanket, Honey?"

"Both." Abby said as she rubbed her eyes.

"Okay." Annie replied as she helped a very tired Abby into some warmer pajamas. "I'll get you a cup of water from the kitchen and then you can tell me about your dream, there, so you don't have to talk so quiet, okay, Sweetie?"

"Okay. Can we, please bring some water up here, in case I get thirsty, again?" Abby asked.

Annie kissed Abby on the head. "Yes, we can, Sweetheart." She answered.

Abby smiled. "Okay."

Annie smiled back, as she continued to help Abby into some warmer pajamas. When she was done, she carried her downstairs to the kitchen.

"I dreamed that all the other children, who live on my road, were calling me really bad names and throwing stuff at me. I tried to run away really fast, but I kept getting my feet caught on something so I couldn't go anywhere." Abby explained as she sat on the kitchen counter by the sink watching Annie fill a cup with water. "It felt like they were attacking me."

Annie hugged Abby before handing her the cup of water. Abby took a few drinks and then Annie picked her up and carried her back upstairs. After Annie put Abby down on her air mattress bed, she took a blanket from the hall closet. "Here, Sweetie." She said as she walked back in the room and put the blanket on top of the other ones that Abby used to cover up with.

"Auntie Annie?" Abby said before taking another sip of her water.

"What is it, Honey?" Annie asked.

"I don't understand, what's wrong with me and why the other children are so mean. One of them called me a disease and someone else told me that everyone in the world wishes I was dead." Abby started to cry.

Annie tried not to cry, while pulling Abby into another hug.

Abby was still crying. "Is it true?" She asked.

"No, Sweet Baby...No..." Annie replied as she continued to hold Abby and started to rock her. "I'm just really upset that anyone would say something like that to my baby niece. I remember the day you were born. It was the best birthday gift I have ever received ~ or any gift. You're my special baby and you always have been; since the day you were born. I've felt this way since the first time I saw you and held you ~ I knew right away we would always have a special relationship and connection. You will always be special to me my Sweet Angel."

Abby was still crying a little. "I feel safe, here, with you. I wish, I could stay here, forever."

Annie kissed Abby on the head. "I know, Baby...sshh..."

Annie continued to hold Abby, and rock her, while she cried herself to sleep and then Annie soon fell asleep, too.

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Chapter 5

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